More than a quarter of shoppers, at 26.7%, expect to make a purchase during Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Day sales event. Plus, 46.4% of consumers say they expect to browse on Amazon.com and maybe purchase, according to a survey of 416 U.S. consumers fielded Oct. 6 by research firm Coresight Research.
Only 13.9% of shoppers say they don’t expect to browse or purchase while 13.0% say they don’t know. Amazon’s Prime Day event features deals from marketplace sellers and deals on many of Amazon’s own products, such as smart speakers. It also is a vehicle for Amazon to sign up more shoppers for its $119 per-year Prime membership program. Prime Day deals are only available to Prime members.
Retailers are capitalizing on the influx of consumers shopping online with their own sales. This is a huge opportunity for retailers to capitalize on shoppers, says Tom McFadyen, CEO of marketplace strategy vendor McFadyen Digital.
“For consumers, Amazon Prime Day is all about finding the best deals, but they’re not necessarily always loyal to the host of the event,” McFadyen says.
Salesforce.com Inc. estimates that non-Amazon retailers boosted their online sales 37% during Prime Day 2019 compared with Prime Day 2018. The expected sales lift at other online merchants is fueled by the shopping frenzy during Prime Day and pent-up demand for deals and consumers checking prices at other retailers.
A recent study by retailer loyalty program Clarus Commerce LLC finds that 76% of respondents say they prepare and research prices and discounts before shopping on Prime Day. Another 76% of consumers wait to make a specific purchase because they know the price will be better on Prime Day.
Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. are two of the retailers that have announced large sales during Prime Day that will offer deep discounts, with Walmart’s Big Sale event Oct. 11-15 and Target Deal Days Oct. 13 and 14. According to the Coresight survey, more than half of shoppers plan to either purchase or browse on Walmart or Target during Prime Day, with 13% planning to purchase and 37.3% planning to browse at Target, and 11.1% planning to purchase and 42.6% planning to browse at Walmart.
In addition to Target (No. 12) and Walmart (No. 3), many other retailers are offering online promotions on Prime Day: Groupon Goods (No. 61 in the 2020 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000), BJ’S Wholesale Club (No. 332), HMD’s Nokia phones, Follett Higher Education (No. 81), Kohl’s Corp. (No. 21), 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. (No. 64), QVC (owned by Qurate Retail Group, No. 9), Overstock.com In. (No. 42), Shop.com (owned by Market America Worldwide Inc., No. 65), Office Depot Inc. (No. 21), SmileDirectClub Inc. (No. 83), Liingo Eyewear (owned by 1-800 Contacts Inc., No. 92) and Samsung’s SmartThings (No. 175 in the Digital Commerce 360 Asia 450).
Brian Borg, vice president of marketing and merchandising at Follett, says the merchant will have special promotions on Prime Day to take advantage of the extra eyes. After Prime Day, Follett will cater its promotional strategy to each school location and what their plans are because of the pandemic, Borg says.
“A trend we are seeing this year is students leaving campus and completing the remainder of their fall term online after Thanksgiving, and not returning until the spring term,” Borg says. “This definitely puts more emphasis on our sites and online promotion for students and fans alike.” Because of the atypical college schedule, it plans to offer holiday promotions earlier than ever, he says.
BJ’s Wholesale Club is capitalizing on the Prime Day buzz with its “Beyond Amazon Savings Event” on Oct. 13-14, plus additional promotions on Oct. 20 and 21. It will also have early bird Black Friday deals Nov. 5-30.
Groupon is promoting its event as “Black Friday in October.”
While deep discounts will attract eyeballs and dollars, McFadyen warns that smaller merchants not go overboard for Prime Day and be more selective with the promotions.
“It’s unlikely that smaller businesses can be price-competitive against the special deals that Amazon has negotiated with major brands for popular products like flat-screen TVs, laptops or kitchen appliances, but the general buying frenzy can help drive sales of more unique products,” he says.